Phase III IMmotion151 study showed Roche’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab) reduced the risk of disease worsening or death for the initial treatment of certain people with advanced kidney cancer

Basel, 11 December 2017

  • Tecentriq and Avastin showed improvement in investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) compared with sunitinib for people whose disease expressed PD-L1
  • Data will be discussed with health authorities globally, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the Phase III IMmotion151 study met its co-primary endpoint of investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) and demonstrated that the combination of Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) provided a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (PFS) in people whose disease expressed the PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1: Expression ≥1%) protein compared with sunitinib for the first-line treatment of people who have advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Observations of a pre-specified subgroup analysis of the Tecentriq and Avastin combination indicated that, in people whose disease expressed PD-L1, a numerical difference favouring Tecentriq was seen across all patient risk factor groups (favourable, intermed­iate and poor) compared to sunitinib; however, due to the study design these data could not be assessed for statistical significance and are descriptive only. Assessment of secondary endpoints is ongoing. Safety for the Tecentriq and Avastin combination appeared consistent with the known safety profile of the individual medicines and what was previously reported in the Phase II IMmotion150 study. No new safety signals were identified with the combination.

Results will be presented at an upcoming oncology conference in 2018. Top-line results from the co-primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) are not mature.

“We are encouraged by these results as they add to the emerging body of evidence that supports our rationale for this combination. We believe that the regimen of Tecentriq and Avastin may enhance the potential of the immune system in the initial treatment of advanced kidney cancer,” said Sandra Horning, MD, Roche's Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development. “We will discuss these data with health authorities globally and hope to bring this combination forward as a potential new treatment option to patients as soon as possible.’’

IMmotion151 is the second successive positive Phase III study of Tecentriq that includes an Avastin combination component as an initial treatment. This follows the positive Phase III non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) IMpower150 study that showed Tecentriq and Avastin plus chemotherapy demonstrated a PFS advantage over Avastin plus chemotherapy.

About the IMmotion151 study

IMmotion151 is a Phase III multicentre, randomised, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tecentriq and Avastin versus sunitinib in people with inoperable, locally advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have not received prior systemic active or experimental therapy. It enrolled 915 people globally who were randomised 1:1 to receive Tecentriq and Avastin, or sunitinib alone.

People in the Tecentriq and Avastin arm received Tecentriq at a fixed dose of 1200 milligrams (mg) and Avastin at a dose of 15 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) via intravenous (IV) infusion every 3 weeks until loss of clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity. People in the sunitinib arm received sunitinib 50 mg orally, once daily for 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks rest until loss of clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity.

The co-primary endpoints were PFS, as determined by the investigator using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours Version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1) in people whose tumours expressed PD-L1 [PD-L1 expression ≥1 percent on immune cells (IC)], and OS in the overall study population (intention-to-treat, ITT). PD-L1 expression was prospectively assessed using an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test (SP142) developed by Roche Tissue Diagnostics.

Stratification factors included the presence or absence of liver metastases; level of IC staining for PD-L1 (≥1 percent vs. <1 percent) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Motzer) risk score. The Motzer prognostic scoring system predicts for OS based upon an individual’s baseline clinical and laboratory characteristics.

Depending on the presence of one or several of five variables (risk factors), patients are classified in one of the three risk groups: ‘Favourable’ with 0 risk factors, ‘Intermediate’ with 1–2 risk factors and ‘Poor’ with ≥ 3 risk factors.

About RCC

Kidney cancer remains one of the most common cancers in the world, accounting for over 140,000 deaths worldwide each year,1 with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounting for approximately 90% of all cases.2 Over 300,000 people are diagnosed with RCC every year and currently only about 1 in 10 people are alive beyond 5 years following diagnosis of metastatic disease.3

RCC occurs when abnormal cells develop in the tissue of the kidneys, specifically in the small tubes (also known as tubules) where our blood is filtered.4 Typically, RCC is a single tumour in one kidney but, in rare cases, there can be multiple tumours, which can occur in one or both kidneys.5

Despite recent progress in the field of kidney cancer, treatment options for people with the disease remains limited.

About Tecentriq (atezolizumab)

Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1 expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7.1 receptors. By inhibiting PD-L1, Tecentriq may enable the activation of T cells. Tecentriq has the potential to be used as a foundational combination partner with cancer immunotherapies, targeted medicines and various chemotherapies across a broad range of cancers.

Tecentriq is already approved in the European Union, United States and more than 50 countries for people with previously treated metastatic NSCLC and for people with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) who are not eligible for cisplatin chemotherapy, or who have had disease progression during or following platinum-containing therapy.

About Avastin (bevacizumab) in RCC

Avastin (bevacizumab) is an anti-VEGF inhibitor. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) is a protein that stimulates the formation and maintenance of blood vessels and has been shown to play a key role in the development of RCC.

RCC tumours are highly vascularised, meaning they have many blood vessels and also exhibit a high concentration of VEGF5. There is, therefore a strong rationale for medicines such as Avastin that block the VEGF pathway. Avastin is the only currently available treatment for patients with mRCC that directly inhibits VEGF.

There is a strong scientific rationale to support further investigation of Tecentriq and Avastin in combination. The Tecentriq and Avastin regimen may enhance the potential of the immune system to combat first-line advanced NSCLC and mRCC. Avastin, in addition to its established anti-angiogenic effects, may further enhance Tecentriq’s ability to restore anti-cancer immunity, by inhibiting VEGF-related immunosuppression, promoting T-cell tumour infiltration and enabling priming and activation of T-cell responses against tumour antigens.

About Roche in cancer immunotherapy

For more than 50 years, Roche has been developing medicines with the goal to redefine treatment in oncology. Today, we’re investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options that help a person’s own immune system fight cancer.

By applying our seminal research in immune tumour profiling within the framework of the Roche-devised cancer immunity cycle, we are accelerating and expanding the transformative benefits with Tecentriq to a greater number of people living with cancer. Our cancer immunotherapy development programme takes a comprehensive approach in pursuing the goal of restoring cancer immunity to improve outcomes for patients.

To learn more about the Roche approach to cancer immunotherapy please follow this link:

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society.

The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry nine years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2016 employed more than 94,000 people worldwide. In 2016, Roche invested CHF 9.9 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 50.6 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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  1. World Health Organization. GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide. Available at:  Last accessed November 2017
  2. American Cancer Society. What is kidney cancer? Available at: Last accessed November 2017
  3. SEER. Stat Fact Sheets: Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer. Available at: Last accessed January 2017
  4. Renal Cell Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)– Patient Version. Available at: Last accessed November 2017
  5. Rini, BI et al. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Targeted Therapy in Renal Cell Carcinoma: Current Status and Future Directions. Clin Cancer Res 2007; 13: 1098-106.